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Moby Dick, or the Whale

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Moby Dick, or the Whale

Librivox recording of Moby Dick, or the Whale, by Herman Melville.

Read by Stewart Wills

Few things, even in literature, can really be said to be unique -- but Moby Dick is truly unlike anything written before or since. The novel is nominally about the obsessive hunt by the crazed Captain Ahab of the book's eponymous white whale. But interspersed in that story are digressions, paradoxes, philosophical riffs on whaling and life, and a display of techniques so advanced for its time that some have referred to the 1851 Moby Dick as the first "modern" novel. (Summary by Stewart Wills)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

Download M4B Part 1 (144MB)
Download M4B Part 2 (133MB)
Download M4B Part 3 (142MB)
Download M4B Part 4 (144MB)
Download M4B Part 5 (119MB)

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Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 24:37:50


Reviewer: Vereeniging - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2016
Subject: Mobs Dick, or the Whale
Many thanks to Mr Wills for his fine reading and interpretation of the book. To listen became an obsession and overcame my initial hesitation of tackling this work. Hermon Melville's way of interweaving story line and information about whales sent me researching for even more knowledge about how the story was conceived.
Reviewer: Micheleanna - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 30, 2016
Subject: Excellent Reader
Stewart Wills did a great job with this book. He gives different characters different intonations and it works out very well.
Reviewer: stargazer1701a - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 25, 2015
Subject: Mr Wills...
... for the read. I always wanted to know the book. Thanks to you, I painted a few canvasses and heard the tale.
Reviewer: Flora Sweeney - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2015
Subject: Jim Parsons?
Excellent reader and the story and vocabulary are brilliant but I truly believe Willis is Jim Parsons from Big Bang Theory.
Reviewer: rko31415 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 29, 2013
Subject: Excellent Reading
I downloaded two readings, Wills and Muller. Wills is definitely superior (and it's free). Wills has a slower, more enjoyable pace. Muller is in a rush.
Reviewer: MercDave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 29, 2012
Subject: Brilliant!
Stewart Wills really brings this alive. I have never read Moby Dick and I have been pleasantly surprised at how engaging it is, this is due in no small part to Stewart's interpretation.
Reviewer: Lunchbag - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2011
Subject: Fabulous Reading
An excellent reading throughout. Good voice and thoughtful expression. Meticulously well done. Thank you for the extra effort on this great work!
Reviewer: Walking Reader - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 20, 2011
Subject: Excellent !!
Stewart Mills has done a wonderful job reading this classic tale. He reads in a clear, confident, and eminently listenable voice. His delivery is expressive and is enhanced by different voices for each character. The overall listening experience is highly engaging and first-rate. The beauty and power of the author's words really shine if Melville himself were narrating.

Stewart obviously devoted much effort, to what is clearly a "labor of love". Many thanks.

Highly recommend this book; you will not be disappointed.
Reviewer: aimzzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 25, 2010
Subject: Hurrah for Stewart Wills
A labor of love well done
Reviewer: scallopedpotato - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 16, 2010
Subject: This is so wonderful.
I'm greatly enjoying listening to your reading of Moby Dick. This is my first time listening to a Librivox audiobook wholly by choice (last time it was the Odyssey, which I had to read for school). I don't think I'd ever have picked up Moby Dick in print form, as it's such a commitment, but oh, my goodness! It's incredible.

People talk all the time about masterpieces, and I can never really get into them so they don't seem much like masterpieces to me. This is totally different, and to whatever extent your reading is contributing to that difference, Mr. Wills, I thank you.
Reviewer: Kentworth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 6, 2010
Subject: Outstanding
Moby Dick is one of those books I've always meant to read, but somehow never got around to it. Now that I have the opportunity to listen to audio books while driving, it's such a treat to immerse myself in wonderful classics such as this.

My sincere thanks to this excellent reader for taking it upon himself to read for us this exhaustive work. The story drags at times, as many of the 'earlier' works do, but that's certainly not a bad thing. In fact, I feel that it generally adds to the story, rather than detract from it.

Enormous kudos to Librivox and to the reader of this work. I enjoyed it thoroughly, from start to finish.
Reviewer: Lee O'Connor - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2010
Subject: Such brilliance for a price tag of zero...
My most sincere thanks go out to Stewart Wills for taking the time to provide the rest of us with a fantastic reading of a leviathan of a novel. Every sentence's intonation and meaning are perfect and the characters all have individual voices.
To put so many man hours into volunteer work for free is to be commended! Thankyou!
Reviewer: Sorker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2010
VOICE, TEMPO, INTONATION, ENUNCIATION. PRONUNCIATION. All consistently excellent from start to finish. Read with a sense (and I believe) that the reader has in mind the meaning of every phrase, thus making the experience immediate and direct. A perfect admixture of talent, preparation and effort.

Hey, @hinkinandbinkin, you write in your damning review, "Perhaps I just don't get 20 century literature." This book is 19th century, so maybe you can't get any literature. This is a book for well educated people. Were the allusions and similes too much for you? It's not all about plot, as you would have it. Part of the importance of this book is how it broke the mold from previous American novel writing.
Reviewer: Drokk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 30, 2010
Subject: Brought the book alive
The reader did a great job. I was able to understand much of the author's intent that my prior reading had not revealed, and this was due to the inflections in the reader's voice. I appreciate the reader's "translation" of this book. The way he read the language of the mid 1800s "translated" it for me. Without this particular reader, this book would not have the deep meaning it has to me now. I can't thank Mr. Wills enough for enhancing my life by giving his time and effort to reading this great book.
Reviewer: gez - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2009
Subject: Thanks
Thank you, Stewart Wills, for reading Moby Dick to me. Your reading was excellent and made my DC commute seem much quicker. I appreciate very much the tremendous amount of time you put into this volunteer project. Thank you, sir.
Reviewer: prat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 23, 2009
Subject: Great reading
Its difficult to do a better job than this.
Reviewer: alamedared - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2009
Subject: Timeless
Today's readers new to Melville ---and those that had to read this book in school--should listen to this version of Moby Dick. Melville's epic is intertwined with American history as it combines pure sea-going adventure, an encyclopedic background of whale trivia, with a questioning of our personal demons. Moby Dick is timeless and has influenced so many writers---there would no Jaws without it!! Enjoy.
Reviewer: hikinandbikin - favoritefavorite - January 11, 2008
Subject: Well read, but what a let down
First off if you know you like the story Moby Dick you should download this. It is well read and I think captures the story. Also, this review is for the common reader not a literary critic.
However, If you have always heard about how great Moby Dick is but never read it, save yourself the time. Moby Dick is the kind of book that rambles through a massive string of jarring storytelling shifts to the point of being utterly frustrating. As the story progresses you soon discover that about every other chapter does nothing to advance the plot but is rather a complete change of subject to some highly detailed minutia that while loosely tied to the book add nothing to the story. It is like a Kevin Costner movie but worse. After I finished the book, which was a complete let down, I was left wondering how in the world Melville became known as a master. Perhaps I just don't get 20 century literature.
Reviewer: jrain - favoritefavorite - January 5, 2008
Subject: But the reader!
Unfortunately I can't recommend listening to this version of Moby Dick. In the voice of a talking book you hope for either an actor that can invoke the narrator's or author's spirit or simply a good reader who just fades into invisibility, letting the words do their magic. With this recording you just get an artless nagging which distracts endlessly from Melville and Moby Dick. -jrain
Reviewer: TheBookworm - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 4, 2007
Subject: Excellent reading
Well done Stewart! This must have been a HUGE project... but it's well worth it. Gratefully The BookWorm, Manchester, UK.
Reviewer: Chris Hughes - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 12, 2007
Subject: A great read
A great book, and a fine reader - as good as you could pay for, for free!
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